Lucas: President Obama Continues the Assault on Rural America

May 7, 2009

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Frank Lucas criticized the details of President Obama’s FY2010 budget because it includes more than $16 billion in cuts to production agriculture.

“It is not enough for President Obama to promote a cap and tax program that would just hammer rural America with a higher cost of living, now he’s revealed the details of a budget that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of agriculture economics and disregards the promises made in the 2008 Farm Bill, which has not even been fully implemented. The worst example of his budget proposal is eliminating $9 billion in direct payments for those who have more than $500,000 in annual sales, not profits. It’s the wrong policy track and it will only hurt our family-run farms all across rural America,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas

Some of the other proposed budget cuts to agriculture include:

• Farmers will have to pay approximately $170 million more in crop insurance premiums.

• $325 million in cuts to the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), and other conservation programs, which assist farmers and ranchers in practices that improve air and soil quality, sequester carbon, reduce emission, and adopt more energy efficient farming practices.

“This budget continues President Obama’s assault on rural America and reflects an attitude of indifference for those who live and work there. Instead of providing a truly responsible budget, President Obama has decided to single out farmers and ranchers for symbolic, unworkable budget cuts that mask huge spending increases,” added Lucas.